About the work

The human body forms the core of Claudia Olendrowicz’s artistic work. She explores the body’s relation and reaction to its surrounding context and its constructed socio-material environment. The body is understood as an outer membrane that functions as a catalyst on which mental and physical states become visible; on which traces and forms manifest. In her sculptures, the artist utilizes materials that come into constant contact with the human body – sponges, soap and fabric – searching for the body’s permeability, its transformability and vulnerability. There is a somatic element to all her art works, without merely replicating reality. Often, the utilized material itself determines the work’s shape leading the viewer’s attention towards the object’s immanent physical presence. The material’s fragility or stability functions as a metaphor for the body in its respective social circumstances with their constructive or deconstructive implications.

Text (extract) by Valentina Ricciuti

Rome, February 2014

(…) Claudia Olendrowicz always prefers simply to demonstrate the details of the world, and it is these that lie at the heart of her work. She gives, for example, an identity to the gaps or the spaces between things, suggesting that the interest of objects lies in their borders, in the margins of their significance, rather than at the centre. She believes that manipulation is a necessary key to understanding, as is the removal of any element that might render the image too complex. She therefore carefully selects what will be seen, thus achieving a reassuring clarity in terms of content, but without sacrificing metaphor, allusions or the suggestion of alternative interpretations waiting to be explored. Claudia Olendrowicz is fascinated by the idea of the stratification of contents, she has an evident predilection for stratifications, but at the same time her relationship with reality is more associatory, and more complex. She resolves the intrinsic complexity of a woman’s gaze by simplifying reality, by rearranging its elements into a hierarchical order that her work presents as something innate and absolute. Claudia Olendrowicz seems to have realised, right from the start of her career, that there is nothing more lyrical and complex than reality itself. In other words, she demonstrates that she has clearly understood that the only way of rendering a thing or an image of that thing more eloquent than it already is, is to dissect it and offer a selected view of it or, at any rate, to present it in the form of a series or summary of clearly recognisable elements. For this reason Claudia Olendrowicz is fond of using everyday objects, collecting them, assembling them, underlining their conventional functions, or giving them new functions. Her relationship with the external world, with the images that come from the world outside her own mind, is sophisticated and selective, and seems to proclaim the impossibility of dedicating herself to the large-scale, impossible precisely because of the metaphorical plurality of her gaze. It is as though she were constantly presenting us with a photographic enlargement of what surrounds us, inviting us to feel as we look, and to exercise perceptiveness in the act of receiving visual information.

Fahre. The infinite present of Bruno Di Lecce and Claudia Olendrowicz
Written in occasion of the Deutsche Börse Residency Program, Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2013